The Tennessee Titans shocked the world when they dethroned the defending champion New England Patriots and six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady — in their house, no less. However, there’s no time to celebrate, as they’re set for a showdown with the (14-2) Baltimore Ravens, the team that finished with the best overall record in the NFL this season. Not only that, they’ll have to figure out how to slow down quarterback Lamar Jackson, a dual-threat sensation who will likely be named league MVP.
Dec 29, 2019; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III (3) celebrates a touchdown in the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports
Jackson is the first-ever quarterback to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 more in the same season, and he’s been shattering records left and right. He does, however, have some unfinished business, as his Ravens went one-and-done in the playoffs last season, getting defeated by the Chargers on their home soil. But Jackson has made huge strides in his development this season, and it’s likely that he’s learned from the mistakes he made last year, specifically with ball placement and accuracy. He’s also done a great job of limiting his turnovers, which is an issue all young signal-callers struggle with.
Jan 4, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) hands the ball off to running back Derrick Henry (22) during the second half of a game New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
The Titans have a major offensive weapon of their own, however, who has given opposing defenses fits. Running back Derrick Henry led the league in rushing this season, with 303 carries for 1,540 yards. Not only that, he’s coming off an epic 182-yard performance against the Patriots, when he ran all over one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. Henry weighs nearly 240 pounds, and is a tall order for any opposing defense to attempt to bring down, but the Ravens may be up for the task, as they ranked No. 4 in the NFL against the run this season, giving up only 93.4 yards per game.
Jan 4, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Kamalei Correa (44) reacts after defeating the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Baltimore has the home crowd behind them, and the Ravens have been dominant there all season, ranking 7-1 at M&T Bank Stadium. As such, they’re currently listed as nine-point favorites in Saturday’s game, according to NFL betting odds, and it’s going to be difficult for the Titans to deliver a first-round playoff exit for the second consecutive year. The Ravens, under head coach John Harbaugh, have one of the best staffs in the NFL, and they also won a Super Bowl back in 2013. It’s hard not to believe that the Ravens won’t use their run-heavy offense to control the clock, with their stout defense being able to handle Ryan Tannehill, but we’ll have to see how it plays out on Saturday.